SW trap team prepares for nationals

Thursday, July 8, 2010
Senior shooters The Southwest Trap Team has been led by two seniors this year. Matthew Snyder and Brittany Wright, pictured above, have both been shooting since fifth and sixth grade. "They have played major roles in our success the last six years," said Coach Mike Vining. "Words cannot express the joy these two have brought, not only to the team, but to me and my family personally."

Winning championships is what the Southwest Trap Team knows how to do. In hopes of repeating last year's national championship performance, members of the local trap team have been stepping up their game and working hard this summer.

This spring, Southwest traveled to Linn Creek for the Missouri State High School Championships and the high school squad of Charly Phillips, Matthew Snyder, Brittany Wright, Johnathon Wolf and Alan McNabb combined to hit 484 of 500 targets and win the state championship for the sixth time in 10 years.

Individually, Snyder finished as runner-up high shooter at the state contest, Phillips finished third in his class, and Wolf, a freshman, tied for second in his class. Other high school team members pushing to make the top squad are Eric Anderson, Kordell McNabb, Blake Hayworth and Eithan Still.

"We've had a remarkable run in our first decade as a shooting program," said Coach Mike Vining. "Southwest has been very fortunate to have the quality of shooters it takes to accomplish such a feat. Our communities of Washburn and Seligman should be very proud of what the kids have done."

On June 20, Southwest again traveled to Linn Creek to participate in the state qualifier for nationals. Leading up to that contest, Southwest shooters competed at Sheldon and Bella Vista, Ark., in preparation for the national competition in August.

At Linn Creek, the high school squad of Eric Anderson, Snyder, Wright, Wolf and McNabb posted a first round score of 484 out of 500 targets followed by a second round score of 485 out of 500 for a 969/1,000 total. Their performance placed them second behind Branson.

"My hat's off to Branson," said Coach Vining. "We shot extremely well and put up a great number, but Branson just came out and flat outshot us that day.

"In all reality, our state qualifier here in Missouri has just as tough competition as we'll see at nationals," Vining added.

The team of Kordell McNabb, Seth Delossantos, Jacob Wolf, Still and Blake Hayworth also competed in the high school division at the state competition. Kordell topped the squad by posting a 97/100 in both rounds.

"I was very proud of this group," said Vining. "Most of this squad is made up of shooters competing at the high school level for the first time. Give these guys another year, and they will make some noise."

Southwest's junior high team of Brent Anderson, Savana Leonhardt, Sydney Delossantos, Garrett Hobbs and Jesse Hayworth won the pre-sub junior division. All five team members shot season highs with Leonhardt hitting her first 25 straight. Individually, Hayworth finished first, Hobbs second and Anderson third.

"I am really excited about these guys and gals," said Vining. "I know this was a huge confidence builder for them, and it will carry them into the national tournament."

In looking over the Southwest Trap Team's 10-year run, Vining is quick to thank all the businesses and individuals in the communities of Washburn, Seligman and Cassville who have donated to the program.

"The list is so long I don't know where to begin," said Vining. "To all of our supporters . . . thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

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